Winter officially arrives with Sunday's solstice. But for many Americans, autumn 2008's final days already feel like deepest, coldest January.
New Englanders still lack electricity after a December 11 ice storm snapped power lines. Up to eight inches of snow struck New Orleans and southern Louisiana that day and didn't melt for 48 hours in some neighborhoods.
In southern California Wednesday, a half-inch of snow brightened Malibu's hills while a half-foot barricaded highways and marooned commuters in desert towns east of Los Angeles. Three inches of the white stuff shuttered Las Vegas' McCarren Airport that day and dusted the Strip's hotels and casinos.
What are the odds of that?
Actually, the odds are rising that snow, ice, and cold will grow increasingly common. As serious scientists repeatedly explain, global cooling is here. It is chilling temperatures and so-called "global-warming."
According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2008 will be America's coldest year since 1997, thanks to La Nina and precipitation in the central and eastern states. Solar quietude also may underlie global cooling. This year's sunspots and solar radiation approach the minimum in the Sun's cycle, corresponding with lower Earth temperatures. This echoes Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Sallie Baliunas' belief that solar variability, much more than CO2, sways global temperatures.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service reports that last summer was Anchorage's third coldest on record. "Not since 1980 has there been a summer less reflective of global warming," Craig Medred wrote in the Anchorage Daily News. Consequently, Alaska's glaciers are thickening in the middle. "It's been a long time on most glaciers where they've actually had positive mass balance," U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia told Medred October 13. Similarly, the National Snow and Ice Data Center found that Arctic sea ice expanded 13.2 percent this year, or a Texas-sized 270,000 square miles.
Across the equator, Brazil endured an especially cold September. Snow graced its southern provinces that month.
"Global Warming is over, and Global Warming Theory has failed. There is no evidence that CO2 drives world temperatures or any consequent climate change," Imperial College London astrophysicist and long-range forecaster Piers Corbyn wrote British Members of Parliament on October 28. "According to official data in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been colder than that year, yet CO2 has been rising rapidly." That evening, as the House of Commons debated legislation on so-called "global-warming," October snow fell in London for the first time since 1922.
These observations parallel those of five German researchers led by Professor Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences. "Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade," they concluded in last May's "Nature," "as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic (man-made) warming."
This "lull" should doom the 0.54 degree Fahrenheit average global temperature rise predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Vatican of so-called "global warming." Incidentally, the IPCC's computer models factor in neither El Nino nor the Gulf Stream. Excluding such major climate variables would be like ESPN ignoring baseball and basketball.
So, is this all just propaganda concocted by Chevron-funded, right-wing, flat-Earthers? Ask Dr. Martin Hertzberg, a physical chemist and retired Navy meteorologist.
"As a scientist and life-long liberal Democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear mongering clap-trap about human-caused global warming to be a disservice to science," Hertzberg wrote in September 26's USA Today. "From the El Nino year of 1998 until Jan., 2007, the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C (0.45 F). From Jan., 2007 until the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C (1.35 F)."
As global cooling becomes more widely recognized, Americans from Maine to Malibu should feel comfortable dreaming of a white Christmas.
(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)gmail.com)